University of Colorado Boulder honors five distinguished engineering alumni

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April 30, 2012

The University of Colorado Boulder recognized five engineering alumni for their outstanding achievements at its 47th annual Engineering Awards Banquet April 27.

CU-Boulder engineering Dean Robert Davis presented the 2012 Distinguished Engineering Alumni Awards, which recognize select graduates of the College of Engineering and Applied Science who have distinguished themselves through outstanding personal qualities, knowledge and significant contributions to their fields.

Chris Finnoff, who earned his bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering at CU-Boulder in 1967, received the award in the industry and commerce category. Over more than 40 years in the aviation industry, he has achieved notable success in bringing new and innovative aircraft to market. He is currently president of Finnoff International, a company specializing in previously owned Pilatus PC-12 aircraft. Previously, he was a leader in a number of start-up companies in the very light jet market, including Turbo West Aviation, Pilatus Business Aircraft, Eclipse Aviation, and Adam Aircraft.

Nan Joesten, who earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at CU-Boulder in 1982, received the award in private practice. Since receiving her law degree from the University of California Berkeley in 1997, she has been a successful trial lawyer at the San Francisco law firm of Farella Braun & Martel, representing a wide array of companies in resolving commercial and intellectual property disputes. In 2012, she founded the business consulting firm Rapid Evolution to help clients achieve better results through stronger professional development and leadership training.

Michael Masterson, who earned his master’s degree in chemical engineering at CU-Boulder in 1977, was recognized in the industry and commerce category. He has been a co-founder, CEO, and investor in multiple technology companies in the alternative energy, advanced materials, and biopharmaceutical industries over the past 30 years. Currently he is managing director of Oxford Innovations and chairman and chief executive officer of ALD NanoSolutions, a spinoff company from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Dimos Poulikakos, who received his master’s and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering at CU-Boulder in 1980 and 1983 respectively, received the award for research and invention. He is the director of the Laboratory of Thermodynamics in Emerging Technologies and head of the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He conducts research in the area of interfacial and transport phenomena, in particular heat transfer, thermodynamics, and related fluid dynamics in emerging technologies.

Ashok Srivastava, who received his bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering at CU-Boulder in 1991, 1993, and 1996, was recognized in the research and invention category. He is NASA’s principal scientist for data mining and systems health management, and has led the Intelligent Data Understanding group at NASA Ames Research Center since 2002. He also was principal investigator of the Integrated Vehicle Health Management Project from 2007 to 2010.

More information about these and previous awards is available on the college’s website at

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Carol Rowe, 303-492-7426

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